War Nerd

I have to thank John Robb for turning me on to War Nerd, Gary Brecher’s witty and bizarre column in the Moscow-based online zine exile.ru.

Why? Well, first there’s Brecher’s photo, which makes him look like Dwight Schrute after a three-day bender:

Gary Brecher pic

Second, there’s Brecher’s way with words. This guy writes like Hunter S. Thompson had taken up the Pentagon beat instead of blowing his brains all over the wall.

Brecher on war:

There ain’t no law of war. There’s just double-dealt rules pushed through by the big powers. Asking guerrillas to put up their dukes and face the attack helicopters is as stupid as scolding the Boers for filing the tips of their bullets while they watched their families die, nice ‘n legal, in those Brit death camps. Like Rummy said, “You fight with the army you have, not the one you wish you had,” and if that means you’ve got nothing but small arms and IEDs, then you fight sneaky.

Brecher on peace:

As for peace, I was always against it. Peace is for people who have satisfying lives. The rest of us want that flood, that real rain. Like the man said, “Bring it on.”

Brecher on Iraq:

Sure, Saddam was a killer. Don’t you get it by now? In a place like Iraq, killing is how you run things. Sure, Saddam boosted his clan, his people; you think Sadr’s goons are going to be any less vicious about boosting their tribe? They’re not off to a very good start, promoting interfaith cooperation by torturing Sunnis to death and stacking their stinking corpses in old trucks dropped off at the nearest bus stop.
Blaming Saddam for being what he was is like blaming a rattlesnake for killing.

Brecher on Iran:

It’s like our command got one of those brain puzzlers Captain Kirk used to use to fry alien computers: how do we pacify Iraq (impossible) while invading Iran at the same time (double impossible, does not compute, frying noises, smoke coming out of computer). Right now there’s so much smelly smoke coming out of the Pentagon it looks like another Boeing hit the place, but it’s just the DI sections’ brains frying.

Brecher on the past:

Europe before Stalingrad was an alien planet, as crazy and bloodthirsty as any Aztec priest. Nobody realizes the complete flip-flop Europe did in 1945. Before that, it was a continent full of insane fascists. Some were braver, better soldiers, or smarter; those are the only real differences.
And when I say “smarter,” I don’t want to overdo it, because the Greatest Generation was a bunch of morons. Hitler was the stupidest of all, I grant you that, but he was just the standout in graduating class full of mongoloids in fedoras. Take Churchill, who’s supposed to be a God of courage and decency and smarts. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Churchill was a buffoon. He was the moron who got Allied armies into useless Mediterranean campaigns in both World Wars. Gallipoli had Churchill’s autograph all over it, and he was so stupid he tried the same crap 25 years later with the Italian adventure. He had this obsession with the “soft underbelly of Europe” which conveniently forgot about these things called “mountain ranges,” like the Alps and the Apennines.

Brecher on the future:

[Conventional] wars are rare, and going to get rarer. Because there’s a much cheaper, easier way to make war. This way doesn’t require any of the building blocks of conventional war: you don’t need industry, aircraft, armor or massive armies. In fact, this kind of war can be played by any group of wackos that can round up a dozen or so bushwhackers. All you need is small arms and a grudge — and those are the only two commodities most of the world has a surplus of.

See what I mean?